Wood is a living material that evolves over time … The intervention of coopers may be necessary to restore oak barrels and thus extend their lifespan.
Tonnellerie Bernard has a repair workshop in which coopers maintain and repair used hulls and heads of barrels of any capacity. Coopers replace one or more staves or heads parts or even the entire head.
During repairs, the coopers work artisanally. The various repair operations cannot be mechanized, the work is done entirely by hand. For this, we use old cooperage tools, such as the hammer, the “asse”, the plane or even the “rabot”.
These delicate steps are generally entrusted to the most experienced coopers. It is important that the repair is carried out in accordance with the rules of manufacture of the cooperage. The art of this step is to make the repair imperceptible to the eye and to restore all its virtues to the oak barrels.
Pictures: © Christophe Deschanel